Froome 'Still Wants' Fifth Tour, But Sky Have Yellow Jersey Dilemma

Paris (AFP) – Geraint Thomas's Tour de France victory has not dented Chris Froome's hopes of a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey, says Sky chief Dave Brailsford.

"He wants to win a fifth Tour, no doubt. He'll be back, it's a part of him and I think he can do it," Brailsford said.

Froome, a four-time winner, was hoping to join Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain on an elite list of five-time winners on Sunday.

Victory on the Champs Elysees would also have seen the Kenyan-born Briton claim a seventh Grand Tour title and become the first cyclist since deceased Italian Marco Pantani, in 1998, to win the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same calendar year.

Yet Froome's efforts in winning the Giro d'Italia last May, and his implication in a long-running anti-doping probe, appeared to become key factors as the normally unshakable 33-year-old's bid went from bad to worse.

Froome was only cleared to race by the International Cycling Union (UCI) days before the Tour, but nearly 10 months after an "adverse analytical finding" for salbutamol during his Tour of Spain victory in 2017, the fallout created plenty of controversy.

"The answer we'd been waiting on for six months finally came five days before the start of the Tour de France," lamented race director Christian Prudhomme.

"And it definitely impacted the general atmosphere."

Froome's Grand Tour success has invited detractors and fans alike from a sport known for scandal and disgrace.

And when Sky were booed on the podium at the teams' presentation, it set the tone for the rest of a race in which the British outfit were targeted by the haters.

'Great Champion'

Froome crashed twice in the opening nine stages, losing precious time to Thomas that, when it came to deciding Sky's leadership strategy ahead of key stages in the Pyrenees, would prove decisive.

After Thomas took possession of the yellow jersey with a mountaintop victory at La Rosiere on stage 11, the Welshman secured a stunning win atop Alpe d'Huez the next day.

From then on, Froome was virtually racing to make sure he would feature on the final podium on the Champs Elysees.

Brailsford praised Froome's readiness to become a 'domestique' for Thomas, a sign of "a great champion".

But he admitted Froome had come to win.

"He won the Giro, which was quite something," said Brailsford.

"But he came here to win, not to podium."

He added: "The mark of a great champion is that he fully accepted becoming a team helper once he realised he wasn't going to win the Tour."

Post-Tour, however, Sky could have a dilemma.

Froome still has another two years on his contract while Thomas has yet to re-sign with the British outfit.

Adding spice is the fact Sky already boast a potential future Tour champion in 21-year-old Egan Bernal, the Colombian sensation who was hugely impressive on his race debut.

"Naturally I've had a few emotions throughout this race," said Froome.

"Moments of disappointment, crashing, moments of joy, when we've won stages or taken the yellow jersey.

"That's bike racing. Like any Grand Tour this has been a rollercoaster."

But asked how he expects Team Sky to choose a team leader for next year's race, Froome replied: "That's a question for team management really.

"It's not for a rider to make those decisions."

Froome Undergoes Surgery, Can Return To Racing In 6 Months

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome has undergone a successful four-hour operation following a devastating crash and could be back racing in six months, his surgeon said Thursday.

Froome Could Receive 2011 Vuelta Title After Cobo Banned

The 2011 Vuelta a Espana winner Juan Cobo has been found guilty of an anti-doping rule violation and could be stripped of the victory, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said Thursday.

More Ways To Watch FloBikes

null

Never miss a moment. 

Froome Crashes Out Of Dauphine, Taken To Hospital

Chris Froome was taken to the hospital Wednesday after falling on a training run for the Criterium du Dauphine 4th stage individual time-trial, Team Ineos said.

Greg Van Avermaet's TDF Prep To Begin AT Hammer Series Limburg

Greg Van Avermaet will return to racing at Hammer Limburg this weekend to mark the start of his pre-Tour de France racing block.

Carapaz On Brink Of Giro Victory As Tempers Fray On Eve Of Finish

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Richard Carapaz closed in on his first Giro d'Italia triumph on Saturday after keeping hold of the leader's pink jersey in a tumultuous 20th and penultimate stage that saw Miguel Angel  Lopez lash out at a spectator who knocked him over.

Esteban Chaves Attacks Again and Again For Stage 19 Victory

null

Ecuador's Richard Carapaz tightened his grip on the leader's pink jersey as Colombia's Esteban Chaves claimed victory in the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Friday.

Break Man Damiano Cima Survives By A Bike Length, Winning Stage 18

null

Italy's Damiano Cima of the Nippo team snatched victory with a sprint finish, holding off a late charging peloton in Thursday's 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia.

Nans Peters Wins Solo, Richard Carapaz Adds To GC Lead

null

France's Nans Peters of the Ag2r-La Mondiale team crossed the line alone to claim his maiden victory in the Giro d'Italia 17th stage on Wednesday.

Cold, Rain, and Category Climbs: Ciccone Takes Stage 16

null

Italy's Giulio Ciccone won the rain-lashed 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday as race favourite Primoz Roglic lost 1min 20sec to his main rivals in pink jersey-wearer Richard Carapaz and two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali.